The Golden Age of Horses

More Americans are learning why riding off into the sunset equals living “happily ever after.”

With recent movies such as “Seabiscuit” and “Hidalgo” topping the charts, it seems horses are more popular than ever – but it’s not just Hollywood.

The trend is sweeping the nation as more people discover the wonderful world of horses. Participation in horse events is at an all-time high. Nearly 2 million Americans own horses, and millions more would like to.

In fact, a recent survey found three out of five adults would be happy if they were given a horse as a gift. And, a majority is interested in horseback riding while on vacation, attending a rodeo and going to a horse race.

With interest in horses on the rise, it’s no surprise that more Americans are finally getting involved. They are taking vacations at dude ranches, going on relaxing trail rides to de-stress after work, skipping gym workouts to fulfill fitness routines on horseback, and even using horses to teach kids responsibility and confidence.

And more importantly, they are finding affordable options.

“Getting involved is easier and less expensive than you might think,” said Bill Brewer, executive vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association. “With our nationwide network of professional horsemen, AQHA can connect people – regardless of interest level, age or income – with horses. It’s what we do best.”

Brewer mentioned several cost-effective options for enjoying horses without the cost of ownership, such as leasing, time-sharing, vacationing at a ranch or taking lessons.

“With these affordable options, there has never been a better time to get started,” he said.

AQHA is making it easier than ever to get involved by offering a gift set for $30. The set includes a Breyer model horse, a book about American Quarter Horses and a certificate good for one free riding lesson from a local professional trainer in your area.

“This gift is an easy way to make a dream for a horse come true,” Brewer said. “A lesson on a dependable breed like the American Quarter Horse, which we call the ‘golden retriever of the horse world,’ is a fun and safe way to be introduced to the joy of a life with horses.”